The Veil/en

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three English songs with string quartet accompaniment

Opus 21


  • Legley composed these songs on texts by Muriel Lytton in 1945 (see below for more details). Later Legley began revising the cycle, but he has never finished this new version.
  • The first performance was originally scheduled for 20 May 1946[1] in the hall Akarova in Ixelles (Brussels). Due to hoarseness, however, singer Yetty Martens had to cancel the concert.[2] The actual creation, according to Legley himself, was only performed in 1948 by Ré Koster and the Haydn Quartet in Flagey in Brussels.[3]


  • instrumentation: mezzo-soprano and string quartet[4]
  • duration: ca 9' or 12'[5]


  • I. The Veil
    • text incipit: I see the landscape through the falling mist
    • completed on 28 August 1945
    • tempo: Andante
    • time signature: 3/4
  • II. Harmony[6]
    • text incipit: I dreamed that I walked in a wood at night
    • completed on 18 September 1945 in Brussels
    • time signature: 5/4
  • III. Dreaming[6]
    • text incipit: To lay full length upon a hill
    • completed on 12 October 1945 in Izegem
    • tempo: Andante moderato
    • time signature: 2/4


  • autograph (first version and incomplete revision): Royal Conservatory Brussels (B-Bc), shelf number BV-03-4085


  1. Concerning the problems of this date, which is sometimes erroneously cited as 26 May, see Concert for 13 instruments.
  2. P.T.: Concert Victor Legley in Le Soir of 24 May 1946, p.2. The Veil is not mentioned in his report of the concert either by Anonymous: Koncerten te Brussel - Werken van toondichter Victor Legley in de zaal Akarova in Het Laatste Nieuws of 22 May 1946, p.4. De Roeck (p.283) overlooked the fact that Yetty Martens did not sing the work in the end in May 1946, but did mention that the work was sung by Ré Koster at the N.I.R. in 1948.
  3. CeBeDeM - lijst werken: LIJST VAN DE WERKEN VAN VIC LEGLEY 22.6.1976, p.9. More details are not known. On 18 March 1948, many newspapers announce a radio broadcast of Radio Brussel in which Ré Koster and the string quartet Pro Nova perform a mixed chamber music performance (Het Nieuwsblad, p.2; Vooruit, p.8; Het Laatste Nieuws, p.9; Gazet van Antwerpen, p.4; Het Handelsblad, p.6; De Nieuwe Gids, p.8; Het Volk, p.11; De Gentenaar, p.5). We suspect that this was the actual first performance, even though it concerns another string quartet than the Haydn quartet mentioned by Legley himself.
  4. 2 violins, viola and cello.
  5. De Roeck, p.282.
  6. 6.0 6.1 De Roeck (p.282) switches songs II en III. Apparently Legley noted this differently on the declaration bulletin at the NAVEA (SABAM), on which De Roeck relies (he did not have a score of the work).